For the past too many years, I have been struggling with an area of my life that I have been trying drastically to change. (How and when I start my day.)
I had this image in my mind of what a perfect schedule must be like. Aside from a glorious 2-3 weeks of enjoying it last year, I have been completely unsuccessful at living it out every single day.
You see, I've had a goal of waking up at 5:00, having my coffee and prayer time (alone!), followed by an intense workout and a (quiet) shower.
Guess what?!? I am not a morning person.
And so, every day that I've woken up a couple of hours late, I have been so frustrated with myself for "failing." Everyday that I've missed my goal, I've felt miserable.
My impatience with myself soon began to affect my level of patience with my beautiful (and mostly patient) kiddos. :-(
It was in this spirit of feeling like an absolute failure that I met with my mentor this week. We spent most of our time together talking about this as well as possible solutions to my apparent "problem." It was a fabulous conversation, especially because it was all bathed in hope!
Wouldn't you know, the first question she asked me was, "Amy, who exactly says that this is the type of schedule you need to keep? And, is there someone in your life who is actually living it out?"
She can be so gentle and full of grace, even when I can't answer her questions with more than a weak sniffle. :-)
"Well, you know," I stammered. "They. As in the same people who set the standard for everything we do. Like when we can wear white shoes and when we can't."
Yup. It sounded really pathetic to my own ears and I started to get really worried with where our conversation was going.
Ah, but I should have known better. God always shows up during our meetings. And He always uses His light, love and truth to help me make sense of my life and the things He is trying to teach me.
Lo and behold, by the end of our time together, I realized that the reason I have been so unsuccessful with my schedule wasn't because I was a failure. Nor was God trying to punish me because I can never seem to "get it right."
With God and my mentor's help, I was able to see that the brick wall I kept hitting was actually a gift. God was purposefully boxing me in so that He could show me that I was trying to live up to a standard that He never gave me. He's been patiently waiting for me to turn around and look at Him.
When I finally did, He showed me who I am. Who He created me to be. Man, His love can be so bright that it's almost blinding, and yet so sweet I can never get enough. (Kinda like Dove chocolate...but that's another story!)
So, I haven't exactly figured out what my days will look like, but I am slowly learning to put down the hammer of chastisement that I've been using on myself in order to actually hear what God has to say to me.
Those desires I have for my day are all good, but would be even better if they fit into my schedule sometime when I was actually awake. ;-)
Is there an area in your life that you are struggling with, my Friend? If so, have you talked to a trusted friend or mentor yet? Sometimes we get so stuck in our unhealthy patterns that we are unable to see (or think) clearly. When we share our struggles with another, sometimes it's all we need to get a clearer picture of what is really going on.
I'm excited to see the changes that God will bring to my days as I learn to press further into Him and His will for my life.
As I learn more about the person God created me to be, I am more able to enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE! Praying you are, too!